News News Guinea BissauAfrica Media independence Freedom of expression Guinea-Bissau: reporter beaten by policeman while covering Covid protest January 29, 2021 Find out more News Reporters Without Borders (RSF) calls on Guinea-Bissau’s authorities to stop interfering in the editorial policies of the country’s public TV broadcaster, Televisão da Guiné-Bissau (TGB), whose staff began a partial strike two days ago to demand an end to political meddling in their news coverage. Follow the news on Guinea Bissau RSF_en @RSF_Africa to go further July 27, 2020 Find out more The opposition parties and the African Party for the Independence of Guinea and Cape Verde (PAIGC), which has a majority in the national assembly, are being censored, Gomes said. For example, an interview with the national assembly speaker was censored on 20 January, the anniversary of PAIGC founder Amilcar Cabral’s death. Guinea-Bissau has been embroiled in a political crisis since 2015, when President Vaz, a PAIGC member, fired his prime minister, Domingos Simões Pareira, who is PAIGC’s leader. The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has been mediating in the crisis and has been pushing for parliamentary elections, which – after repeated postponements – are finally due to be held on 10 March. Guinea-Bissau is ranked 83rd out of 180 countries in RSF’s 2018 RSF World Press Freedom Index. Help by sharing this information Covid-19 in Africa: RSF joins a coalition of civil society organizations to demand the release of imprisoned journalists on the continent News The head of the TGB employees’ union, Domingo José Gomes, told RSF that TGB has of late been covering just three political parties: the Democratic Alliance and the Jomav Movement (which back President José Mário Vaz.) and the Social Renewal Party (of which the social communication minister is a member). Guinea BissauAfrica Media independence Freedom of expression The TGB employees’ union already signed a petition in September 2017 opposing interference in TGB’s editorial policies. In a phone call with RSF, TGB news director Eusobio Nunes blamed the problem on TGB’s dependence on the government and its funding. “There cannot be no total independence,” he said. “The government pays the salaries, determines policies and appoints those who are in charge.” Since 28 January, TGB’s journalists have been refusing to cover the activities of any political party in order to press their demand for an end to “censorship” and “bias” in the broadcaster’s reporting. January 30, 2019 Guinea-Bissau government asked not to interfere in TV news coverage Receive email alerts “This interference is unacceptable and is undermining the pluralism of opinions in the media just weeks before parliamentary elections,” said Assane Diagne, the director of RSF’s West Africa office. “Guinea-Bissau’s authorities must end the censorship and must refrain from any meddling in news coverage, which is the sole responsibility of journalists.” Organisation The headquaters of Televisão da Guiné-Bissau in the capital city Bissau. Photo: TGB Guinea Bissau: attack by gunmen silences opposition radio station in Bissau April 6, 2020 Find out more
Stay tuned to this story as the reports will be updated in the coming hours. Men’s 40’sAustralia has narrowly lost the Men’s 40’s division to New Zealand at the 2011 World Cup, 5-4 in an exciting encounter.Australia took an early lead when John Clark scored following a Troy Morgan run from acting half, but New Zealand were quick to hit back, levelling the score in the next set of six. New Zealand great Pete Walters sent a worry through the New Zealand camp when he looked to be injured, but was soon back on the field and back to his best, setting up a touchdown and helping New Zealand jump ahead to a 3-1 lead. Despite a number of penalties, Australia was unable to capitalise on its opportunities. .New Zealand took their two touchdown advantage into half-time, 3-1. Australia hit back soon after the half-time break, when Robin Kildare setting up John Samin to bring the score back to one touchdown, 3-2. Two quick touchdowns to New Zealand took their lead out to three with just over five minutes remaining. Troy Morgan scored in the next set of six, to bring New Zealand’s lead back to two, and when a New Zealand player was sent to the sin bin with just minutes remaining, Australia capitalised. Robert Sinclair-Smith scored during this time to bring his team back within one touchdown. The Australian comeback was too little too late however, with the siren sounding, giving New Zealand the win, 5-4.Men’s 35’sAustralia has continued it undefeated run at the 2011 World Cup, defeating South Africa, 11-6 in the Men’s 35’s division.The two sides had played each other twice in the lead up to the final, once in the round games and the other in yesterday’s quarter final, which were both won by Australia. Australia got out to a flying start, scoring the first three touchdowns of the match before South Africa got on the scoreboard midway through the first half and went into half-time with a comprehensive lead. Australia continued its dominance after the break, to take the match by five touchdowns and become Australia’s first World Cup champions for 2011. Men’s 30’s Australia has comprehensively beaten England in the grand final of the Men’s Open division at the 2011 World Cup, taking the game 18-2. After a week of Touch Football that including plenty of high scores from the team, including a 31 touchdown win earlier in the week, the win was a great way for the teams to finish their World Cup campaign. The team didn’t waste any time getting on the scoreboard, making their mark on the game in the early exchanges. Captain Gavin Shuker led by example, scoring five touchdowns for the match.Senior MixedAustralia has pushed New Zealand all the way in the Senior Mixed division, taking the game to a drop off before losing 7-6. Australia got out to an impressive start, before New Zealand hit back to get back into the game. After leading 3-1, New Zealand hit back in the late stages of the first half, with Australia going to the half-time break up by one touchdown. New Zealand hit back in the early stages of the second half, with the teams continuing their great rivalry right down to the dying seconds, sending the game into a drop off. Both teams were unable to score in their first set of six, and it was New Zealand who eventually has the opportunity to capitalise, scoring in the first two minutes to take the title.
You can keep up-to-date with all of the latest news and information from the 2014 X-Blades National Touch League in the following ways:Websiteswww.ntl.mytouchfooty.comwww.austouch.com.auSocial MediaFacebook – www.facebook.com/touchfootballaustraliaTwitter – www.twitter.com/touchfootyaus (be sure to use the hashtag #NTL2014)Instagram – www.instagram.com/touchfootballaustraliaYouTube – www.youtube.com/touchfootballausRelated LinksWorld Cup 2015 By BEN HARRISWith a little over 400 days until the 2015 Federation of International Touch World Cup, preparations for the sport’s premier event have been stepped up.The 2014 X-Blades National Touch League is an opportunity for everyone involved to showcase their skills before the April 29 to May 3, 2015 event at Coffs Harbour.Players try to impress Australian selectors, referees want to get notice and international teams look for an edge.Two of the visiting nations that will feature at the World Cup are Japan and Papua New Guinea (PNG).The international sides are playing at this week’s NTL championships to get experience and to prepare themselves the best way possible.Both countries have sent a couple of teams to Coffs Harbour this week to play.Japan has sides in the mixed open, men’s T-League and two teams in the women’s T-League divisions.PNG teams are playing in the men’s and women’s T-League competitions.It has been a learning curve for both countries but that is what this endeavour to the NTL was all about.“We are preparing for the World Cup next year and the NTL is at the same field, the same place and the same stadium [as the World Cup],” Japanese mixed open’s coach Satoru Ozawa.“Most of the players in the Japanese team don’t have any international experience so this is about getting that experience.”The mixed team have yet to win a game while it is more promising in the T-League competition.Japan has won three matches in the men’s and women’s T-League divisions.PNG has also found success in the young division with the men’s side beating South Queensland Sharks (B), Victoria and South West Queensland Swans.The women’s team have pushed their rivals all the way.For developing touch football nations like Japan and PNG, Ozawa said it was hard at times.“In Japan, we have no mixed competition at all so they don’t have any experience,” Ozawa said of his team.“Everyone is excited. Of course we want to win more games.“I want to challenge teams.”
TORONTO – Royal Bank of Canada saw an uptick in demand for mortgages this fall as borrowers look to secure loans before tougher rules — including a stress test — take effect in the new year, one of the bank’s executives says.Neil McLaughlin, RBC’s head of personal and commercial banking, told analysts on its fourth-quarter earnings call there is a heightened awareness of the banking regulator’s revised mortgage underwriting guidelines, which is expected to reduce the maximum amount homebuyers who don’t need mortgage insurance will be able to borrow.“We have seen a little bit of pull forward this fall,” McLaughlin told analysts on the call Wednesday. “As we talk to customers, some of them are surprisingly aware of what the stress test is about and have decided to move more quickly.”McLaughlin’s comments came as RBC beat analyst expectations with a 12 per cent jump in its fourth-quarter net income to $2.84 billion, driven by double-digit year-over-year increases in personal and commercial banking, wealth management and capital markets. Its latest earnings for the three-month period ended Oct. 31 helped to cap off its fiscal year with a record $11.5 billion profit, up 10 per cent from fiscal 2016.It also comes as the banking regulator in October finalized changes to its mortgage underwriting guidelines — moves aimed at reducing risk amid high household indebtedness and rising home prices, particularly in Toronto and Vancouver.The revised guidelines, called B-20, require would-be homebuyers to prove they can still service their uninsured mortgage at a qualifying rate of the greater of the contractual mortgage rate plus two percentage points or the five-year benchmark rate published by the Bank of Canada. An existing stress test requires those with insured mortgages to qualify at the Bank of Canada benchmark five-year mortgage rate.Meanwhile, the Bank of Canada has raised interest rates twice in recent months to the current overnight lending rate of one per cent. On Tuesday, the central bank said in its semi-annual review of the financial system that the steady climb of household debt and still-hot housing markets remained top vulnerabilities. However, it said the new mortgage guidelines would help mitigate the risks associated with low-ratio mortgages (with down payments of 20 per cent or more).McLaughlin told analysts Wednesday that more than 90 per cent of its mortgages are already underwritten at these higher rates, and expects the overall impact of these guidelines to be “fairly modest.”“The vast majority of our portfolio and loan originations are not really going to be impacted,” he said.The Bank of Nova Scotia’s chief executive, Brian Porter, told analysts on its earnings call Tuesday that he expects the new guidelines to create a “five per cent headwind” to mortgage originations.McLaughlin told analysts that RBC expects “a similar number”.Dave McKay, RBC’s president and chief executive, said he expects mortgage growth to “slightly moderate.” Canada’s biggest lender by market capitalization had $142.1 billion in uninsured mortgages as of Oct. 31, up 11 per cent from $128 billion a year earlier.“As the Canadian housing industry digests the changing regulatory landscape, we expect mortgage growth to slightly moderate to the mid single-digits,” McKay said on the conference call. “Household demand, however, should still be supported by changing demographics including the large influx of immigrants expected in Canada over the next three years.”Borrowers are showing signs of caution, said Mark Hughes, RBC’s chief risk officer.“More recently, we have seen an increasing number of fixed rate mortgage originations, signalling increased conservatism by our clients in a rising rate environment,” he told analysts on the conference call.The guidelines could also help RBC retain its existing borrowers, said McLaughlin.The new stress test rules won’t apply to those renewing their mortgages if they remain with their existing lender.“We do see this as a positive, and we do expect some lift to our retention rates,” McLaughlin said.
The goal for the Fundraiser is set at $10,000 and they are close to reaching their goal.To view the GoFundMe CLICK HERE ROSE PRAIRIE, B.C. – Mid December the home of Jake and Brianne Dyksterhuis burnt down, causing them to lose the contents and their family vehicle.December 14th at 1 am the Dyksterhuis’s woke up to find their house was on fire, ‘there was only enough time to grab their daughter who was still sleeping in their bedroom and jump out the window in their night clothes’, states the GoFundMe page set up to help assist the family.As a young family with a nine-month-old daughter and another child due in the spring, a GoFundMe account was created to alleviate some of the financial burdens that come with losing everything.
Kolkata: The Kolkata Municipal Corporation is gearing up to supply round the clock drinking water to the slums in the city. The slum dwellers in the city presently get water twice in a day —for around three hours in the morning and for two hours in the late afternoon.”We have already held three meetings and are chalking out a detailed plan on how to go about in developing the infrastructure in the slums so that the residents get round the clock water supply. Mayor Firhad Hakim has instructed us to take all possible measures in this regard,” said Swapan Samaddar, Member, Mayor-in-Council (Bustee Development ) Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari PujaThe slum dwellers sometimes suffer from scarcity of water particularly during the summer months when the demand increases manifold. Some slum areas are so narrow that vehicles with water tanks are unable to reach. As per initial plans , the KMC Water Supply department will set up a reservoir in the slums wherever there will be availability of space. The water stored will be drawn through a pump and then through a dedicated pipeline it will be supplied to the slum. “We have to carry out awareness among the dwellers to prevent wastage of water,” an official in the Bustee Development department said. Also Read – Bengal civic volunteer dies in road mishap on national highwayThere are around 4,500 slums both authorised and unauthorised under KMC’s jurisdictional area. “We are presently producing water in excess to the demand of the Kolkatans. There are supply problem in certain pockets in the added areas of the city like Tollygunj, Bansdroni, Garia and work for supply pipeline is going on in full swing. Work is expected to be over by March 2020,” an official in the Water Supply department said. The construction of a small booster pumping station at Bangur Park in ward 93 and Babubagan in ward 92 has already started. A reservoir with additional capacity of 2 million gallon is being constructed inside the campus of Anandapur booster pumping station to improve water supply in the adjacent areas.
✗ +3 Dodgers1946196642772133.3 Yankees1976198621931127.3 ✓ Over the course of the past decade, the San Francisco Giants put together one of the strangest dynasties in baseball history. And now it is officially coming to an end.The Giants still have five players left over from their 2014 championship season, but the returns have diminished greatly since then. The team is in last place in the National League West; the FiveThirtyEight model currently predicts it to finish 70-92, which would be one of the worst records in franchise history.1Technically the 2017 version was even worse, although that team at least had injuries to blame (and a playoff appearance the year before to suggest a potential turnaround). And it could get worse by season’s end, with ace Madison Bumgarner (among others) on the trade block.The Giants got here in part by trying to extend the dynasty past its expiration date. But who can blame them? When a team’s initial successes defy the odds, it can be especially difficult to know when a downturn is permanent or just a detour along the road to another title. This is especially true of San Francisco, which sandwiched two mediocre nonplayoff seasons in between World Series titles. But we come here not to bury the Giants’ dynasty but to praise it — and imagine how Farhan Zaidi, the new president of baseball operations, might construct another one where the original once stood.So what makes the Giants’ dynasty of the 2010s — and yes, it was a bona fide dynasty — maybe the most interesting ever?Up and downThe simplest answer to that question lies with the team’s every-other-year pattern of success. In even-numbered years from 2010 through 2016, the Giants’ winning percentage was .557; in odd years, it was only .506. But plenty of teams have gone on wild championship roller-coaster rides. The Giants’ version was one of the most memorable because of how unexpectedly it materialized and how difficult it was to get a handle on, even while it was happening.Sabermetrics pioneer Bill James has a method of determining dynastic runs that involves giving out points for seasons of various accomplishments. He keeps a running tally of a team’s dynasty points after each season; whenever a team’s running total hits 10, it automatically becomes a dynasty — of which there have been only 38 in baseball history. ✓✓✓ ✗ Source: billjamesonline.com ✓✓ ✓✓ Cardinals196319712104944.4% ✓✓ +1 ✓✓+2 ✓✓+3 Phillies197619831142825.0 Seasons ✓✓✓✓✓+6 Giants201020163103742.9 ✓✓ ✓+1 Bill James’s dynasty accounting systemWhat an MLB team must do in a season to earn or lose dynasty points ✓✓+4 Yankees19201943106162425.0 +5 Made Playoffs?Won Division?Won Pennant?Won World Series?Losing record90+ Wins?100+ Wins?Dynasty points Keeping in mind that the majority of San Francisco’s dynasty took place in the double-wild-card era, where in theory it is easier to snag an occasional playoff berth to keep the run going, you could argue that a Giants-like run is even harder to pull off now than during the Cardinals’ era (most of which happened when the “playoffs” consisted only of the World Series).If all of this sounds like a knock on what San Francisco accomplished, it’s not. It actually just makes it more fascinating: Only nine teams in history ever won three World Series in a five-year period anyway, and none of those had anywhere near as many ups and downs — nor proved as many doubters wrong — as the 2010-16 Giants did.Growing a dynasty … on top of a dynasty?Surprisingly, that run actually began on the heels of another dynasty, at least according to James’s accounting system. The 2000-04 Giants hit a running total of 10 points as well, despite not winning any championships, because they won at least 90 games five years in a row with two division crowns, a pennant in 2002 and 100 victories in 2003. That team was powered by Barry Bonds at the peak of his historic hitting powers,4And with Bonds allegedly benefiting from performance-enhancing drugs. with help from second baseman Jeff Kent, pitcher Jason Schmidt and shortstop Rich Aurilia. But the club’s performance fell after much of Bonds’s supporting cast signed elsewhere (SB Nation recently made a great video about the bitter Bonds-Kent feud), and the Giants’ main attraction in the ensuing seasons was Bonds’s largely joyless pursuit of Hank Aaron’s all-time home run record.By 2008, Bonds was out of baseball and the Giants were terrible, winning just 72 games. They had just three players who had been ranked among Baseball America’s Top 100 prospects in the previous few seasons: pitchers Matt Cain, Tim Lincecum and Jonathan Sanchez. Their farm system ranked just 23rd in baseball. Practically nothing about the Giants’ situation suggested that another dynasty was around the corner.But as bleak as San Francisco’s outlook appeared to be, the ingredients were largely in place for the run that was to come. To go with Cain and Lincecum, fellow dynasty cornerstones Bumgarner, Posey, Brandon Crawford and Brandon Belt would all be drafted in 2007-09, while third baseman Pablo Sandoval and reliever Sergio Romo both made their MLB debuts in the summer of 2008. Nine players were on all three Giants championship squads — Posey, Bumgarner, Cain, Sandoval, Romo, Lincecum, Santiago Casilla, Jeremy Affeldt and Javier Lopez — and of those, six were either acquired by or made their MLB debuts for San Francisco in the 18-month span between May 2007 and November 2008. The team had also hired manager Bruce Bochy away from the division-rival San Diego Padres prior to the 2007 season.The Giants’ penchant for acquiring and developing homegrown talent helps explain a good amount of their success earlier this decade. From 2010 through 2016, only two teams (the St. Louis Cardinals and Tampa Bay Rays) got more total wins above replacement5Averaging together the WAR versions found at Baseball-Reference.com and FanGraphs. from players who initially debuted with the team than San Francisco did. That group was headlined by Posey and Bumgarner, both of whom were top-10 draft picks, but it also included a fourth-rounder (Crawford), fifth-rounder (Belt) and 18th-rounder (Matt Duffy) who each peaked as 4-win players or better despite their lack of pedigree.Spare parts to the rescueThose Giants were made all the more interesting by the odd veteran pieces that filled in the gaps around the homegrown talent, particularly in the postseason. Journeyman castoffs Andres Torres and Aubrey Huff led the 2010 Giants in regular-season WAR, while that year’s NLCS MVP was Cody Ross (who had been claimed off waivers from the Marlins in August), and the World Series MVP was veteran shortstop Edgar Renteria, who had missed more than half the regular season with injuries.The trend continued in subsequent title runs. Outfielder Angel Pagan rebounded from a disappointing 2011 season with the Mets to produce 4.4 WAR for the Giants in their 2012 championship campaign. Melky Cabrera, on his fourth team in four years, was the All-Star Game’s MVP and hit an NL-best .346 that year before being suspended for performance-enhancing drugs (and recusing himself from the batting crown). Second baseman Marco Scutaro, picked up via trade in July, claimed NLCS MVP honors. After Posey and Bumgarner, frenetic outfielder Hunter Pence, acquired four days after Scutaro, was the Giants’ best player by WAR in 2013 and 2014, posting an 1.167 on-base plus slugging in the 2014 World Series. Even in 2016, obscure third baseman Conor Gillaspie provided playoff heroics when his ninth-inning home run won the NL wild-card game over the Mets.This quirky combination of young draftees and veteran reclamation projects helped each Giants championship team forge a different identity. The 2010 team was widely identified with Lincecum, Cain and eccentric, heavily bearded closer Brian Wilson. The 2012 version had evolved to become Posey’s team (he was named NL MVP) with Sandoval, the “Kung Fu Panda,” inheriting the role of postseason talisman from Wilson. And the 2014 season was all about the dominance of Bumgarner, who became virtually unhittable in October, winning the NLCS and World Series MVPs. Bochy and general manager Brian Sabean continually found ways to retool the roster on the fly, returning it to a championship level even after a 76-win season in 2013 suggested to many that San Francisco’s days of winning it all were probably over.An extraordinary timeThe Giants’ dynasty was also lucky to come along during an era of comparative parity in Major League Baseball. In 2015, my colleague Rob Arthur and I noted that MLB was getting tougher and tougher to predict during the decade of the 2010s, which happened to overlap with the entirety of San Francisco’s run to that point. In particular, the share of variance in team records explained by luck — which tracks with how compressed team records are across the league — had spiked upward to 64 percent that season, the highest mark since right after the 1994 strike.The Giants weren’t particularly dominant on paper during their dynastic years, never finishing higher than sixth in baseball in Sports-Reference.com’s Simple Rating System during any of their championship seasons, but it was the perfect moment to be a good team that gets hot at exactly the right time. Although it is unlikely that San Francisco’s World Series runs were wholly (or even mostly) the product of making the playoffs and having the postseason crapshoot fall in their favor three times, there’s no denying that the Giants’ path was made easier by the lack of super-teams across the rest of MLB.And now, those days are gone. (Not that it would help the current Giants much if they weren’t.) Starting in 2016, the league became very much top-heavy and thus much easier to predict than it had been earlier in the decade. The simultaneous emergence of juggernauts in the Houston Astros, Boston Red Sox, New York Yankees, Los Angeles Dodgers, Chicago Cubs and Cleveland Indians over the past few seasons have left the next tier of teams feeling the squeeze. Yes, some of today’s reduced parity also owes to the surplus of tanking teams trying to emulate the championship runs of the Cubs and Astros, but the teams at the top are also just stacked with talent. That has made it much tougher to be a merely solid ballclub with World Series aspirations.The aftermathAfter falling short against the Cubs in the 2016 NL Division Series, the Giants hoped to return to contention with largely the same group plus ex-Nationals closer Mark Melancon (who’d been good the previous season). Instead, Bumgarner injured himself in an early season dirt bike accident, Melancon was terrible, and the team collapsed to 64 wins. Then San Francisco doubled down on reviving its even-year magic in 2018 by trading for 30-something stars Andrew McCutchen and Evan Longoria. It didn’t work: Longoria was a disappointment at 1.2 WAR, McCutchen was traded to the Yankees at midseason, and Bumgarner was injured again. After 73 wins last year and this season’s 20-26 start, and facing Bochy’s retirement at the end of 2019, the franchise has finally begun staring down the specter of a rebuild.It’s easy to look back with hindsight and criticize the moves San Francisco made to try to keep its window of contention open. Well after the 2014 championship, for instance, the Giants signed pitchers Johnny Cueto, Jeff Samardzija and Melancon to long-term deals totaling $282 million, which looks like a terrible waste now — as well as a betrayal of the dynasty’s original homegrown roots.But this was also the same team that rode out a playoff absence in 2011 to win again in 2012, and a 76-win disappointment in 2013 to win again in 2014. As Bumgarner told the L.A. Times before this season, “Pretty much every year we’ve won, we were not expected to win.”The retool-on-the-fly mindset served the Giants well — until it didn’t.As much as the failure of recent big-name acquisitions to recapture their former glory has hurt the Giants, another big factor has been the failure of the team’s homegrown core to age gracefully — and the lack of anything in the pipeline behind it. Although Crawford can still make the occasional spectacular play, he is down from a 5-win player in 2016 to a subreplacement one now, and he’ll make $15.2 million each of the next two seasons after 2019. Belt was worth 4.2 WAR in 2016; now he’s on pace for a more middling 2.2 WAR in 2019 despite his $17.2 million salary, which also repeats in 2020 and 2021. Duffy fell off in 2016 and was traded for Matt Moore, who was miserable for the Giants in 2017 and was himself dealt for peanuts.Even with Bumgarner healthy, the Giants have the league’s worst starting rotation according to WAR. And recent drafts have produced little of note. The farm system ranked 26th in Keith Law’s preseason rankings. Things suddenly look dire again.Rebuilding the next dynastyWith Sabean’s successor, Bobby Evans, removed from his post as general manager last September, the man tasked with rebuilding the Giants now is former Dodgers GM Farhan Zaidi, who has gained a reputation as an innovator and a genius since leaving his doctoral program at the University of California, Berkeley to join the Oakland A’s front office under billion-dollar Billy Beane in 2005.Zaidi began shaking up San Francisco’s usual methods with a seemingly endless stream of anonymous signings before the season, in the hopes that at least some of them turn into viable major leaguers. That dizzying roster carousel did not let up once the season got underway, either. The team has started to employ modern pitching tactics like using an opener (which went poorly) and having position players like Sandoval throw mop-up innings (which went well!).But Zaidi has also run into friction six months into his new job. Already a figure of suspicion among Giants fans for his Dodger background, Zaidi was booed by season-ticket holders (granted, at Zaidi’s own urging) during a preseason meet-and-greet after he mentioned potentially using the opener. More seriously, he was openly criticized by Derek Holland after the pitcher was demoted from the starting rotation.Maybe all the constant roster-shuffling and other analytics-minded front-office techniques will pay off for San Francisco in the long run. But for now, the Giants are a bad team that can only get worse. The players are noticing — and so are the fans. AT&T Park was home to baseball’s third-best attendance mark as recently as 2017, but no team has shed more fans per game this season than San Francisco, whose 2019 attendance is down by more than 6,000 as compared with last year.How long will the Giants’ rebuild last? It might take a while to clear the current roster’s worst financial obligations from the books. Even in a world without Bumgarner, the team has $124 million committed to just seven players next year, with a payroll that could balloon to $172 million after arbitration and options are picked up. But as San Francisco’s ill-fated late push to sign Bryce Harper showed, the team hasn’t ruled out shelling out money for talent despite starting a new chapter in franchise history. Zaidi’s tightrope walk between alienating one of baseball’s best fan bases and genuinely refreshing the roster should be interesting to watch over the next few seasons.But it does also mean that the Giants dynasty of the early teens is firmly in the rearview mirror. What San Francisco accomplished then still defies statistical explanation to a certain degree, even acknowledging that most dynasties need an unlikely string of good fortune to build a great roster with long-term staying power. Through a combination of strong starting pitching, an impressive homegrown core and unbelievably shrewd veteran pickups, the Giants put together one of baseball’s most improbable strings of championships ever — a run that will be better appreciated only as it recedes into the realm of history. Now we have to see what Zaidi can do as a follow-up act.Check out our latest MLB predictions. ✗-2 ✓ But every dynasty also has to end. When a team has a zero-point season, its rolling tally drops at least 2 points (it falls by 3 if the team also has a losing record). When the rolling tally dips to zero again, or the team has three straight pointless seasons, the dynasty is definitively over.2And the dynasty’s final season is retroactively set to the last year in which the team picked up any dynasty points.This decade’s Giants officially qualified as a dynasty by hitting 10 points after the 2014 World Series victory, ultimately extending the span of their run from 2010 to 2016 with one additional playoff appearance.3Technically the Giants haven’t had three straight zero-point seasons or a running total of zero yet (their running total was 3 through 2018, which was their second-straight zero-point season), but our model gives them next to no chance of picking up any dynasty points — and thereby extending the run — in 2019. But of those seven seasons, three contributed nothing to (and therefore actively detracted from) San Francisco’s running dynasty total. Among the 38 distinct teams that James’s system considers dynasties, only one — the 1963-71 St. Louis Cardinals — had a higher share of their “dynasty years” contribute nothing to the dynasty itself. +2 Cardinals1926193531731030.0 The weirdest dynasties ever?Among MLB dynasties (as defined by Bill James’s point system), largest share of seasons during a run that contributed zero points to the dynasty In general, a season contributes nothing to the dynasty if the team fails to make the playoffs or win 90 games.Source: Baseball Databank Angels200220091112825.0 -3 Red Sox2002201841851729.4 TeamStartEndTitlesMax Dynasty PtsZero-PtTotalZero-Pt Share Dodgers1973199121381942.1
Billy Price and the Buckeyes prepare to take the field for warmups prior to the B1G Championship game against Wisconsin on Dec. 2 in Lucas Oil Stadium. Ohio State won 27-21. Credit: Jack Westerheide | Photo EditorBack to back.For the second year in a row, an Ohio State lineman was awarded the Rimington Trophy, which is given to the best center in the nation. One year after Pat Elflein won the award, redshirt senior Billy Price was voted to receive the trophy. He received the honor at the College Football Awards show Thursday night.Price beat finalists Alabama’s Bradley Bozeman and LSU’s Will Clapp for the trophy.The redshirt senior adds the trophy to his list of accolades, which includes the 2017 Big Ten offensive lineman of the year award. The Associated Press named Price a second-team All-American last season and he was named a first-team All-Big Ten honoree. Price was named a Rimington Trophy finalist on Monday and was named to the watch list in May. Both Price and Elflein switched from guard to center for their respective senior seasons.
Captain Manuel Neuer insists that Germany must consider their two remaining group games in the World Cup as “finals” from now onThe reigning champions suffered a disastrous start to the defence of their crown when they lost 1-0 to Mexico on Sunday with a Hirving Lozano first-half goal proving to be the difference at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow.Germany will be under an extreme amount of pressure to defeat Sweden this weekend in Sochi in order to avoid a shocking early exit at Russia.Neuer, who recovered in time from a broken foot, to take his place as Joachim Low’s number one goalkeeper for the World Cup insists that the team must take each game now as seriously as a final.“From now on, we only have finals. The players have to show what they can do but I am convinced that we can do it,” said Neuer, according to Punchng.Top 5 Bundesliga players to watch during the weekend Tomás Pavel Ibarra Meda – September 11, 2019 With the international activity cooling down for the next month, we go back to the Bundesliga’s Top 5 players to watch next weekend.The German…The 32-year-old is refusing to get overly concerned by the situation and believes that the best remedy is to turn their full focus on to Sweden now.“Complaining about what happened doesn’t change anything, we all know that,” he said.“We have to try to put this behind us as quickly as possible.”Germany are hoping to become the first team since Brazil in 1962 to successfully defend their world title.